2 October 2014

Life on a knife edge: a most interesting character. Travel Linkup

The serrated tip of the brandished knife quivered in my face with a flourish. Mr Kiwi and I looked at each other, just who was this madman?? What on earth were we going to do??

Paris France: Adventures of a London Kiwi

When the topic of 'the most interesting character you’ve met while travelling' popped into our conversations of the next linkup topic, I knew immediately who it had to be. I adore travelling with my most constant companion Mr Kiwi (believe me, any couple who can travel together, will be together for a long long time - we've come to a ratio that works beautifully; 1 pint to every two random cultural items) but it wasn't him. I love weekends away with my girls; wine, castles, cakes and tunes but it wasn't them either.

Random travel companions sometimes for a day, a week or a few hours who have kept popping up over Europe and on facebook. Not them. The beautiful New Yorker, a stranger who exchanged parcels of goodies over the Atlantic, before inviting me whilst in New York for a quintessential Pastrami sandwich, then sent me photos of her brand new newborn. Nope. The stunning hotel clerk in Amsterdam who laughed over my confusion at all of the streets names around our hotel starting with Emma. No siree. The American girl who hadn't ever left home before, and slept on top of a Czech bed complaining that they hadn't supplied bedding - whereas in reality, she hadn't ever turned down her own duvet. It wasn't even her.

Paris France: Adventures of a London Kiwi

On a romantic birthday break and the first time in the French capital for both of us, having given up on the tourist-y haunts of the main streets, Mr Kiwi and I were searching the twisting back streets for a jewel. A genuine French bistro. I wanted a moodily lit restaurant where real Parisians treasure age old cooking methods, incredible fresh bread and umm, well snails. Hey, we were tourists after all.

Spotting a wee treasure at the back of several offices, we made our way towards the small doors surrounded by wildly gesticulating smokers enjoying a post-work vino. A little scared, we steeled ourselves and entered the busy room. Espying the menus - all in handwritten French - we decided on escargot, bouef and dessert roulette (employing the point and be surprised method).

Paris France: Adventures of a London Kiwi

It was then he walked to our table. Well, skipped is more like it. A petite Frenchman, dressed entirely in black made his way to our table, eyebrow arched. He smiled, asked me something in French, and after hours of practising my Lonely Planet French, I panicked.

Smiling toothily, I replied. "Erm, I'm so sorry but we don't really speak French - and if we tried it would be terrebley." (You know, terrible but with a riduculous French accent).

Paris France: Adventures of a London Kiwi

Grinning like the devil, he seized the steak knife innocently waiting on the table, waved it in our surprised faces and proclaimed "Ah, that is ok. You no speak French, I no speak English, you no eat! Oh hohoho!" Racing away, he returned with goblets of fragrant red wine, laughed, and said "I only joke, of course you can eat. What would you like??" Laughing, and sincerely relieved we began enjoying our meal. Half an hour later he also threatened a flower seller with someone else's knife, so we figured it was his standard greeting. An unusual way to run a business, but hey, were in his country!

Paris France: Adventures of a London Kiwi

Now, your turn! Kelly, Rebecca, Molly and I would love to hear about the most interesting character you've ever met. You have a week - just add your link below, and share a little love if you can.


24 comments :

  1. A very simple story beautifully told! I love the dramatic opening! Was the food good there?

    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  2. Haha you painted this picture perfectly!

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  3. Ha! i'll have to look out for this place next time I'm in Paris! Where was it? Hope the food was good after all that!

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  4. Thanks for co-hosting the link up! Quite a dramatic introduction to Paris, it can get quite edgy there so must have been unnerving! You were very brave to try the escargots - how were they?

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  5. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)2 October 2014 at 21:57

    Such a funny read Emma! You've certainly met some interesting characters on your travels haven't you?! :-D

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  6. WOW! that sounds terrifying but hilarious in equal measure.

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  7. Haha great story! Love the theme this month :)

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  8. I absolutely met someone just like this once! I was in Greece and had ages to wait for a flight and went into a restaurant where a Greek man cooked me a free meal. He sounds v similar.

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  9. Ah the French! You just never know how they are going to react do you?!

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  10. Nope - we rather adored our waiter (heck we still laugh about him 5+ years later!)

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  11. Was the flight delayed, or was it just using up time pre-flight?

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  12. It's been so lovely as ever to hear all of the wonderful stories!

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  13. Oh yes, yes we have! It's part of the travelling charm.

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  14. We love running the linkup - the stories that are told as a result are wonderful! I adored yours...
    After facing the waiter the escargot were a doddle. They were garlicky, buttery, slightly rubbery bites. Nice enough to try once, but not my favourite.

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  15. It was a tiny wee place with a name lost to the sands of time, alas! I can recommend a couple of great places to pop in though!

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  16. It was that awkward time in between having been kicked out of your hotel and waiting for the next flight!

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  17. We have laughed over this story with friends so many times over the years!

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  18. Haha you have to love the french! I would have loved to have seen Mr Kiwi's face ;-) xx

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  19. so good! Loved the way you opened this.

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  20. I'm only just catching up on these and loving reading peoples stories. Traveling really does let you meet the craziest people.

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  21. I love meeting waiters, especially when they have such character and you can warm them up! Mr P is better at the interaction, I always clam up when there is a language barrier!! No doubt my parents wondered why they paid so much for my education!!

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